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How to change icons of desktop shortcuts?

Every shortcut on desktop has replaceable icons. You can simply change their icons from the properties, but you cannot change icons of some default (system) shortcuts by this simple technique. There is another way to change icons of such shortcuts and is extremely easy. I am using Windows 7, so I am going to guide you with this (other versions can have slightly different methods).

In this article:

How to change icons for system shortcuts on desktop?

Change icons of system shortcuts

  1. Right click anywhere on empty space on desktop and click on Personalize.
  2. Click on change desktop icons.
  3. A window'll pop-up.
  4. Click on the shortcut whose icon you wanna change and click on change icon.
  5. Another small window will pop-up from where you can select icon that you want to use instead of default one.
  6. Click on OK after selecting the icons that you are going to use for shortcut.

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You can also use custom icon files by clicking on browse button. If you want to use custom icon files, make sure they have .ico extension at the end.

How to change icons for any shortcut on desktop?

Changing icons for any shortcut other than system's shortcuts is really easy.

Change icons of every shortcut except system shortcuts.

  1. Just go to the properties of the shortcut and make sure shortcut tab is selected.
  2. Click on Change icon.
  3. A small window will pop-up showing icons that are available in Windows. You'll not see this list of icons if you try to change icon of some software's shortcut but you can use your own custom icons.
  4. Select any icon and click on OK.

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If list of icons is not showing up and you wanna use icon from windows built-in icons then type below string in the text field at the left side of browse button and hit enter, you'll get all available icons in Windows.


You've to download or create icons yourself if you don't like the icons available in Windows.

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How to remove shortcut arrows?

Download a tool named as ultimate Windows tweaker. It can remove arrows on shortcuts in just 2 or 3 clicks.

Remove arrows from shortcuts icons.

Put a tick on Remove arrows from shortcut icons and click on apply. Restart your PC for changes to take effect.